Can I walk the dog if I have Covid? What self-isolation rules mean for exercise and taking your pet for a walk

The rules regarding self-isolation have been changed a few times in the last year, but whether you can walk your dog is still clear.

Should you be positive or show symptoms of coronavirus, isolate yourself for a period of 10 days. You are advised to limit most of the contact with your pets – whether it is a dog or cat – so avoid cuddling, cuddling, being kissed or licked or sharing food.

Although there is limited evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted from infected humans to dogs, animal fur can act as a carrier in the same way as other surfaces, according to the website.

Can I walk the dog if I have Covid?

The guide is that you should stay home and isolate yourself for 10 days if you test positive for Covid-19.

Should you need to walk your dog, you are advised to let your dog out in the garden or just outside your house. However, should this not be possible, you should ask another member of the household to go for a walk with the dog if they are not positive and are fully vaccinated, or are under 18 years and 6 months.

If the entire household needs to isolate itself, you should seek someone outside the household to walk the dog for you.

Remember that your dog needs to train and go outside to use the toilet, and therefore it is important to find a way so that it can be happy and healthy. But there are other ways to keep them happy without going for walks, such as playing with them or teaching them a new trick.

What is the guide if I test positive for Covid-19?

Should you develop a high temperature or a new persistent cough or loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, you should immediately isolate yourself and get a PCR test.

You should self-isolate yourself if you have tested positive for Covid-19 using a lateral flow test.

If you need to isolate yourself, do not leave your home, which means you must not:

  • go to work, school or public places
  • take public transportation or use a taxi
  • go out for food and medicine
  • have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people who provide important care
  • go out to train.

However, there are still a few things you can be allowed to do if you are self-isolating, such as sending a PCR test or antibody test in a Royal Mail priority mailbox.

You can also:

  • get food or medicine if you can not order it online or by phone or you can not ask anyone to bring it home to you
  • get emergency health care for you, your family and pets
  • Avoid injuries such as fire hazard or risk of abuse in the home
  • access services as a victim of a crime
  • help a pregnant woman go to the doctor or give birth
  • go to the funeral of a close family member or friend
  • fulfill legal obligations such as going to court, participating in lawsuits or following bail conditions
  • participate in NHS Covid-19 research – but only if you are asked to leave self-isolation.

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